You’ve been training to prepare for the BMW Dallas Marathon, and the main event is quickly approaching. It’s time to trust that your training will bring you across the finish line and prepare for the details of race day to ensure a stress-free event!
This post is sponsored by the BMW Dallas Marathon. All opinions are my own.
Here are 10 Ways To Prepare For the Dallas Marathon Once Your Running Training is Complete.
TAPER YOUR RUNS
The week or two before the race (depending on the distance) is the time to taper your runs by cutting back the mileage and intensity or your workouts to allow your body to recover and be well-rested on race morning entirely. You will perform better on race day if you let your body to rest a little more than usual in the days leading up to the race.
GET YOUR SLEEP
Most of your body’s recovery processes happen during sleep, and when you ask your body to work hard, it’s even more important to give it the time to recover properly. Rest should be a priority throughout the training cycle. Make sure to get plenty of shut-eye the week before the race. The night before the race, turn off the electronics an hour before bed, set the alarm (or two) and aim for eight to nine hours of sleep. If you have trouble sleeping due to excitement or nervousness about race day, try writing out your feelings or worries in a journal to help clear your head so you can sleep more soundly.
HYDRATE EARLY, HYDRATE OFTEN
Hydrated muscles are happy muscles. It’s not just about the water stations along the course, but about your hydration strategy leading up to the race. Aim for half your body weight in ounces per day leading up to race day. Don’t drink excessively on race morning to avoid unwanted bathroom stops.
Be sure to practice your race day fueling strategy in at least one long training run before the race. You don’t need any gastrointestinal distress on race day due to unfamiliar foods. There is no need to carb-load by devouring oversized plates of pasta the night before the race. Aim to increase your intake of healthy whole-food carbohydrates slowly several days before the race. The best foods for runners are the ones tested in training runs.
GET A PRE-RACE MASSAGE
It may seem counterintuitive to get a massage before the race, rather than after, but according to local Fort Worth massage therapist Beth Patton from Geek Girl Massage Therapy, a pre-race massage can help prep your body for a successful race. Beth says, “Massages can play a part in an athlete’s life, but right before a race is not the time for a deep tissue massage. The day before your race, combine a lighter Swedish style, compression, and light vibration to help reduce pre-race anxiety, relieve muscle tension, and increase blood flow.”
CHECK TRAFFIC, PARKING, AND PLAN TRANSPORTATION
Avoid headaches by being prepared with traffic, transportation, and parking plans ahead of time. Allow yourself more time than you think you need race morning to avoid additional stress. Plan to arrive at least 60-90 minutes before the start to use the port-a-potties, warm-up, and line up in your corral.
CHARGE YOUR ELECTRONICS
Charge your electronics the night before if you rely on your phone, GPS or music to move you across the finish line. Unexpected technology fails can add to the mental challenge of a race.
REVIEW THE COURSE MAP
Review the course map and get familiar with the route, so there are no surprises on race day. If possible drive it the week before the race, so you have some familiarity with the course. Make you sure you understand exactly where the start line is so you don’t waste any time race morning.
CHECK THE WEATHER/LAYOUT YOUR OUTFIT THE NIGHT BEFORE
The weather can be unpredictable, check the weather the night before the race and choose your race attire appropriately. In cold weather, it can be helpful to have a throw-away sweatshirt or jacket to keep you warm while you’re waiting to run, that can be discarded or checked once you warm up. Learn more in this article I wrote about what to wear to run in any temperature.
MAKE A PRE-RACE GEAR CHECKLIST AND CHECK IT TWICE
Layout all your race gear the night before so in the morning you aren’t scrambling for safety pins or looking for your compression socks under the bed in the dark while your spouse is sleeping. Here is a checklist of the gear you may need on race day. Be prepared, trust your training and have fun. You got this! It’s not too late to register.
Click here to sign up for the BMW Dallas Marathon weekend on events on Dec 7-9 Whether you want to run a 5K with the kids or you’ve been training for the ultra, Dallas Marathon has an event for you.
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